Why do people like being surprised by their character's dialogue?

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by ZigzagPX4, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. ZigzagPX4

    ZigzagPX4 The Swiftness of the Ranger

    Nov 22, 2015
    Just now I've noticed that one of the common excuses for Fallout 4's dialogue wheel, that it "surprises players themselves", is also used for games like Mass Effect and the latest Dragon Age. So, I'm curious. Why do people enjoy being "surprised" by their own character's lines when playing RPGs? (Of course, this doesn't apply to everyone).

    Now, I perfectly understand why this would be the case in interactive fiction like Telltale games (Walking Dead) and David Cage/Quantic Dream (Heavy Rain) games, or even in exceptions to RPGs like Alpha Protocol or the Witcher (yes, I know this part is a reference, but still), where the character is somewhat established well and is a character you're directing through a path rather than controlling directly. I get that people would enjoy the "movie aspect" of being surprised by the words and actions of their directions (as seen in the linked example above).

    But RPGs where you create your own character? Really? If you're directly roleplaying a character, why would one not want to fine-tune their words? Especially when RPGs are one of those genres where your words matter. I mean, in RPG games, saying the wrong thing can end very badly. It's just curiosity, really - is there anyone who can explain why anyone would want to not know exactly what your character is going to say?
     
  2. MercenarySnake

    MercenarySnake Kept you waiting huh?

    Aug 22, 2015
    I'm not sure why anyone would want to be surprised by what the dialogue options say. I'm not a fan of the paraphrasing or whatever the hell Fallout 4 is doing. I do remember when a Bethesda fan said "They like it when they're surprised by what they're gonna say since they don't know what they're going to say before they say it in real life". I just like when the options are straight to the point, some of those options like "sarcastic" are so vague, I'm not sure if it's suppose to be sarcastic angry or sarcastic funny as you don't know until the character already says it.
     
  3. ZigzagPX4

    ZigzagPX4 The Swiftness of the Ranger

    Nov 22, 2015
    I find it ridiculous too that someone would want paraphrased dialogue in a genre where what you say is supposed to matter, but Fallout 4 isn't nearly the only game to be guilty of this. I just want to know if anyone here actually likes that kind of dialogue, and why, because I can't think of any logical reason for it.
     
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  4. PossibleCabbage

    PossibleCabbage Vault 22 Survivor

    889
    Jul 2, 2015
    I have played tabletop characters who I attempted to make surprised by the way they phrased things, it was pretty challenging, but it was fun. That's perhaps related to this. There's some fun to be had in knowing in advance the semantic content of what you're going to say ("I want to acquire the MacGuffin") and to not have a specific phrasing in mind before you start talking so you go in unexpected directions. Certainly not every character ought to be played this way, but it fits for some.

    The big problem that Fallout 4 and some other paraphrased dialogue games have is kind of the opposite actually. It's not that you know the meaning you're trying to get across butyou just don't know how the character will say it exactly, it's that you don't really know either. Fallout 4 consistently fails to distinguish between "Sarcastic Yes" and "Sarcastic No", so before you pick the sarcastic option you don't know whether you're going to say yes or no. This is a real problem.

    So if you're intending to say "I didn't know they still played baseball in the 23rd century" and you pick that option and your character says it in a funny and referential way, that's fine. If you're intending to say "I didn't know they still played baseball in the 23rd century" and you end up saying "sure, I will kill all the raiders who have taken up residence in the Sports Museum on Legends way" then you're taking control away from the player when you really don't need to.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  5. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    THe conversation with Kellog is the wors offender in this, all the options are phrased in non commital neutral ways but your character always screams them and either throws a threat or an insult at the end without you even knowing he was gonna do it. That whole conversation is a waste of time anyway, you might a well just straight up shoot him, it makes no difference as you also don't learn anything from it.
     
  6. MercenarySnake

    MercenarySnake Kept you waiting huh?

    Aug 22, 2015
    Yeah I remembered I picked an option that translated to
    "In 100 years when I finally die I only hope I go to hell, so I can kill you all over again". I didn't want to say that at all, honestly the game doesn't make me care enough about my son to kill Kellogg out of anger but because the game will make me fight him regardless.
     
  7. Sergeant Politeness

    Sergeant Politeness Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    413
    Jun 20, 2015
    I'm not entirely sure of the answer, but I think most of these persons don't play the game to roleplay. They just want to test the best sounding options and have fun seeing what will happen, no matter if it doesn't make any sense.

    Basically, they prefer to be a spectator to the story instead of being a participant.
     
  8. MercenarySnake

    MercenarySnake Kept you waiting huh?

    Aug 22, 2015
    You would be surprised how many of them have told me they are the person they're playing as. These fans like to roleplay their character doing things you can't do in the game, they say that the first person perspective makes the experience more immersive to make them feel like they're really in the gaming world.
    I'm sure others simply use this game as a modding benchmark like Skyrim.
     
  9. Sergeant Politeness

    Sergeant Politeness Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    413
    Jun 20, 2015
    Most Bethesda fans I know simply use their game to explore, loot and shoot anything and they don't know what a RPG even is. Then again, there are a lot of people who actually manage to roleplay in Skyrim with mods so I guess some people can do it with Fallout 4 too.
     
  10. MercenarySnake

    MercenarySnake Kept you waiting huh?

    Aug 22, 2015
    I can't believe the ones you know use it for just looting, shooting, and exploring. Might as well play an MMO since that fits the description perfectly. They don't know what an RPG is either?...ummm WOW.
     
  11. Sergeant Politeness

    Sergeant Politeness Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    413
    Jun 20, 2015
    Well, isn't Fallout 4 pretty much an offline MMO? I haven't played it yet because my computer is too shitty, but that's the impression I got from what I've heard about the game. I don't really hang on other forums right now, but the people I know who play the game IRL pretty much use it as one as far as I know. They know what the letters RPG stand for, but I don't think they really know what a deep RPG is. Then again, those people are teenagers so a lot of them are used to the general design of recent AAA titles.

    To summarize, I have no idea how people can see Fallotu 4 as a deep roleplaying game. Bethesda games usually have mechanical roleplaying possibilities, such as using only a certain type of armors, but they're pretty poor from a narrative roleplaying perspective. The only way I can see that possible is with a lot of denial of what actually happens on the screen.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  12. ElderMaxson

    ElderMaxson Out of my mind, freshly made

    62
    Nov 19, 2015
    Its for the people who want to roleplay but have no imagination, Bethesda games
     
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  13. dopezilla

    dopezilla God of Blood and War

    571
    Nov 6, 2015
    Gotta disagree. It's not for people who want to roleplay, it's for people who like open worlds and shooting stuff. The dialogue is made completely obsolete with just four options to say the same things slightly different. And even when the game offers you some choice (from what I've heard there's two possible endings, one of which is obviously "evil" and the other is obviously "good"), it just means you'll be shooting something different.

    Gah. I'm not even bummed that I can't play Fallout 4 with my old world PC.
     
  14. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    Yeah, I think we all are expecting too much from many a casual player. A lot of people treat FO4 like "shooting hoops", they sit back, and they just run in circles shooting mutants and raiders, laughing their asses off

    In order to understand them, we would have to turn off a lot of that irksome brain-think. I'm not even trying to sound condescending here (I lie, I am trying), but it kindov is that simple. It often boils down to running fast, shooting loud, and laughing heartily

    Our whole perplexion about dialog, content, words n' letters, it baffles these players, how we can sit around worrying about such boring stuff, when there's so much running and shooting to be had
     
  15. Korin

    Korin So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs
    Admin

    Aug 6, 2010
    I think it's a difference in roleplay style. The dialogue wheel definitely has a more vague 'choose your own adventure' feel to it but what you're really choosing is to watch the actor voice/play out a general choice you've made. Mass Effect uses the dialogue wheel like this as well and similarly it tends to boil down to something like "punch that guy in the face!" or "be a nice person" (though the F4 options don't seem so varied and exciting) and once you've made a selection you're an audience member to whatever the actor/character is going to perform on screen.

    Mass Effect of course did all this much better and it did it from the get-go... it wasn't a huge shift in gameplay from what people were used to and expected.
     
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  16. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Actually neither ending is either good or bad... because they are barely anything, both have the exact same narration with the Institute ending having a different intro.
     
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  17. dopezilla

    dopezilla God of Blood and War

    571
    Nov 6, 2015
    So it's really just one ending disguised as two endings. Radical!
     
  18. TheLittleKnyaz

    TheLittleKnyaz Still in the Zone

    37
    Jan 3, 2016
    And both endings railroad you into an act of genocide. So aren't both endings technically "bad"?
     
  19. MercenarySnake

    MercenarySnake Kept you waiting huh?

    Aug 22, 2015
    All the endings are shit with little to no thought put into them and show no progress, achievements, or anything you did throughout the game(well considering killing is all you can do that's not much of a surprise or an accomplishment as killing things take little effort).
     
  20. ZigzagPX4

    ZigzagPX4 The Swiftness of the Ranger

    Nov 22, 2015
    It's easy to justify at lot of Bethesda's mishaps though.

    Three near identical endings? Quests that have same endings? A smart, intellectual commentary on how all paths of destruction make no difference... Such is war.
    Poor UI design? It's for immersion of that 50's technology feel. They were hard to use. So is this.
    Institute barely written out? They're left vague so as to make them appear morally grey... That makes our writing dynamic.
    Little number of weapons and settlement pieces? It's to promote creativity within the player and represent how a post-apocalyptic world is scarce.
    Repetitive settlement quests? It's supposed to represent the hard, tiring, endless work of a Minutemen.
    Bullet sponge enemies? I got nothing.
    No skills system? I got nothing, again.
    Ridiculous quests with ridiculous premise? Maybe it's all in your mind... Or maybe they're synths. Either way, they fit in with the theme.
    Player character dialogue written poorly, barely any choices? It's part of a directed cinematic experience.
    Vertibird AI poor? It's canon - Brotherhood pilots are new, Vertibirds were recently taken from the Enclave, they're still getting used to it. Crashes are common.

    Those points above make it feel like they spent more than half of their time and budget on PR. They have so many bad points they can deflect. But not any solid good points. They make it so easy to defend by the masses when in truth the defense for poor writing and gameplay imbalance is paper-thin.
     
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